the skull of birds
Значение термина the skull of birds в knolik
the skull of birds - The Skull of birds
the skull of birds - The skull of a bird is composed of a large number of separate bones, which are very closely united in the adult bird, so much st> that it is next to impossible to recognise that they are distinct bones. The bones are also thin and light, for to a flying animal any weight forward would be most disadvantageous. The weight of the bird should be, and is, concentrated in the middle of the body. "We can divide the skull into two regions: behind is the smooth, rounded brain-case or cranium; in front is the face, which is largely en- sheathed by the beak. It is chiefly formed by the maxillary and nasal bones above, and by the palatine and pterygoids below. The length of this part of the skull is subject to great variation in different birds. In the Storks, for instance, the face is extremely long, while in the Parrots it is comparatively short.
Professor Huxley, about thirty years ago, proposed to classify birds by the form of the bones of the palate. In the skull of the Hawk, it will be seen that two bones lying in the front region of the palate are fused with each other in the middle line, and to the type of skull which is thus characterised the name 'desmognathous ' was given. It is found not only in the Hawks, but in a quantity of other birds; for instance, in the Stork tribe, and in the, Hornbills and Toucans. The second form of skull distinguishes the gallinaceous birds; in them the two maxillo-palatines remain unconnected, and the palate is therefore in a way cleft; this is termed the ' schizognathous ' skull. In the finch tribe there is a slight modification of this, called, from the Greek word for a finch, ' segithognathous.' In these birds a median bone, called the vomer, from the fact that the bone to which it corresponds in the human skull is shaped somewhat like a ploughshare, is truncated in front, instead of tapering, as it does in the schizognathous skull of the common fowl. There is a fourth variety, which marks out the Ostrich tribe and the American Tinamous, in which the two pairs of bones called the pterygoids and palatines do not, as they do in the types of skull that have been hitherto considered, reach the middle line of the skull, but are kept off from it by the vomers, which extend backwards. The term ' dromaeognathous,' or emu-like, is applied to this form of skull. If the back of any bird's skull be examined, it will be noticed that just below the great hole or foramen, through which the medulla passes to join the spinal cord in the canal of the vertebral column, is a rounded, rather kidney- shaped boss. This is the occipital condyle, by means of which the skull articulates with the first vertebra. If you look at the same region in a mammal, you will find that there are two of these, one on each side, though also below the foramen magnum. This is one of the many points of structure that distinguish a bird from a mammal and ally it to the reptiles; but it must be remembered that in some reptiles there is a commencing division of the single condyle into two.
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